Long John Silvers is a popular seafood restaurant in the United States. It is most famous for its “fish, mmmm fish” slogan and also for its addicting hushpuppies. However, many breastfeeding moms are wondering if it’s okay to eat fish, specifically Long John Silver’s while breastfeeding their young ones. After all, with an affordable price and not to mention its tempting treats, who would want to miss out on a great seafood dinner like Long John Silvers?
Can I eat Long John Silver’s while breastfeeding?
A common misconception is that fish contains a high amount of mercury, which can be harmful when it enters your bloodstream.
However, many types of fish also contain beneficial minerals such as selenium and iodine.
To play it safe, experts say that pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should limit their fish intake to not more than 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. This includes fresh or frozen tuna (chunk light), salmon (sockeye, coho or pink), pollock, catfish, along anchovies and sardines. It is also safe to eat two servings a week of fish that are higher in mercury such as marlin, orange roughy, shark or swordfish.
Health Benefits of Fish For Breastfeeding Mothers
The building process of your breastmilk requires protein and minerals. If the mother is breastfeeding the child for one 1year or more, her nutritional needs are even higher. However, the mother should have an intake of 300 to 500 extra calories a day in order to produce enough milk for the child. The iodine in seafood is needed by the body to make thyroid hormones that will promote a baby’s nervous system development and growth. Selenium from seafood has been shown to reduce the risk of thyroid abnormalities.
Seafood is also a good source of vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid for brain development, reducing inflammation and lowering the levels of triglycerides in the blood Cancer Prevention Research suggests that people who eat seafood regularly might have a decreased risk of cancer later on in their lives.
What fish is used at Long John Silver?
The majority of the fish used in Long John Silver’s menu is Alaskan Pollock. Alaskan pollock has low to moderate levels of mercury and also contains 14 grams of protein for every 100 calories as well as a healthy amount of selenium (at least 25mcg per 10grams). This is the most commonly eaten fish caught.
Is Long John Silver’s seafood safe to eat?
Long John Silver’s claims that the kitchen is “a nut free environment” but does not claim whether its restaurant uses peanut oil or any other type of cooking oil. Also, one should check whether the fish or any other seafood is breaded before ordering. In addition, all recipes are proprietary and therefore one cannot be sure if there are any allergens in a specific menu item. However, according to the FDA website, there is no serious hazard related to exposure to peanut oil. It simply states that peanut oil can cause areaction in people who are sensitive to peanuts.
Long John Silver’s can be a great place for mothers to eat fried fish like calamari while breastfeeding their young ones. Just make sure that you check the ingredients before ordering and always remember not to share your food with other people. The fish is fried, not raw fish and its not generally considered a high mercury fish. Eating fish is healthy for both the nursing mother and their little one.
Where does Long John Silver’s fish come from?
Most of the fish used in Long John Silver’s menu is Alaskan Pollock.
According to their website, “Alaska pollock caught by our boats are processed and distributed to a variety of food service operations throughout the world.”
What is the least toxic fish to eat?
The least-toxic fish to eat are usually from the Salmonidae family as they tend to contain the lowest mercury levels. They include:
* Wild types of Alaskan or Pacific Salmon (with skin and bones)
* Trout (rainbow, brown, brook, sea trout)
* Canned Mackerel
What fish contains high levels of mercury?
Fish that contain high levels of mercury include:
- King mackerel
- Tuna (big eye, ahi)
- Large fish
Pregnant women should avoid king mackerel and other fish which have too much mercury levels. Whilst it is generally safe for a pregnant woman to eat fish, they should avoid raw shellfish, raw fish, bigeye tuna and high mercury fish like yellowfin tuna, canned light tuna, ling fish and even herring crab.
If you are unsure speak to your local health department to check the mercury levels in the fish you are eating from the local lakes. The environmental protection agency suggests these fishes should be avoided in the first trimester and up to the third and fourth months when it is most like to affect the unborn baby.
This article was written by Sandra Baker – full time writer and the mother of four amazing kids (including twins!)
She’s also a breastfeeding counselor and has spent years helping new parents learn how to care for their children. When she’s not writing or caring for her children, Sandra likes to spend time reading and taking walks with her husband.